Prolonged viral shedding of SARS-CoV-2 in an immunocompromised patient

J Infect Chemother. 2021 Feb;27(2):387-389. doi: 10.1016/j.jiac.2020.12.001. Epub 2020 Dec 4.


The duration of viral shedding of SARS-CoV-2 is usually less than 10 days. We experienced a COVID-19 case with prolonged viral shedding for 2 months. His cell mediated immunity has been depressed (CD4+T cell <100/μl) due to advanced malignant lymphoma and chemotherapy which had been completed 4 months prior to the onset of symptoms of COVID-19. We administered several treatments against COVID-19, however the results of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) from nasopharyngeal specimens remained positive to SARS-CoV-2 for 2 months. Moreover, virus isolation assays performed on Day 59 also remained positive. He was finally discharged on Day 69 with two consecutive negative PCR results for SARS-CoV-2. Immunocompromised status may prolong viral shedding and it is therefore important for the clinician to take into account this when assessing such patients.

Keywords: Bendamustine; Follicular lymphoma; Immunocompromised state; SARS-CoV-2 PCR; Viral replication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19 / complications
  • COVID-19 / immunology*
  • COVID-19 / therapy
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Lymphoma / complications*
  • Lymphoma / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharynx / virology
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Virus Shedding*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • RNA, Viral